Recap: MEST at SLAY Festival with She Leads Africa

Tobi Lafinhan | Thursday, January 26th, 2017

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Last Saturday, January 21 2017, MEST partnered with She Leads Africa to host the Breakfast With Leading Women In Tech, the kickoff session of SheLeads’ SLAY Festival 2017. She Leads Africa (SLA) is a fast-growing, tight-knit community of young, driven, entrepreneurial women who meet regularly, exchange resources and pull each other up the ladder of success.

The goal of the Breakfast session was to provide aspiring women entrepreneurs an opportunity to ask questions about getting started, get information about opportunities they can tap into, and present themselves in the best light to get ahead and fast.

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Neku Atawodi-Edun, General Manager of the MEST Incubator in Lagos, spoke about the need for more women to be involved in the technology ecosystem, making reference to MEST’s mission and commitment to getting more women into tech particularly through its fully sponsored year-long training program in Ghana.

She shared the fact that when MEST started in 2008, there was barely 10% female participation in the training programme. And by 2016, had increased to 30% females. The new goal of MEST is to get the percentage to 50% by 2020.

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Neku, then answered questions from the audience on how to apply to the MEST program, what happens at different phases of the training and the possibilities that exist after graduation from MEST. She encouraged the young entrepreneurs to cultivate a habit of learning and have basic knowledge of programming and technology trends as it would help them understand how to handle/manage their teams as their businesses grow.

She also talked about the need to join and be a part of an accelerator or incubator as the community and mentorship in these programs are valuable.

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The session ended with more information about the steps to get the MEST scholarship and a call-to-action to get registered for the upcoming MEST / Facebook Bot Party.

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